Erick Threets Rumors

NL West Notes: Uribe, Ibanez, Young, Morse, Ichiro

In an Insider post (subscription required), Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio names eight players who could be traded during the Winter Meetings. The Rays' David Price tops the list with Bowden's possible destinations starting with the Dodgers. The Dodgers also have two of their own on the list: outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Here's more on the Boys in Blue and the rest of the NL West: 

  • Re-signing Juan Uribe figures to be at or near the top of the Dodgers' to-do list at the Winter Meetings, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
  • Uribe is not seeking a three-year contract and the holdup with the Dodgers is either their desire for a one-year deal or money, tweets ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweeted confirmation of an earlier report the Rockies are interested in Raul Ibanez, but cautioned nothing is serious at this point. Renck also noted Michael Young is on the club's radar for a bench role.  
  • The Rockies are also becoming more serious about Michael Morse along with the Giants, Marlins, and Rangers, reports the New York Post's Joel Sherman (Twitter links).
  • There's been speculation the Giants could be a fit for Ichiro Suzuki, but Ken Davidoff of the New York Post tweets he doesn't believe that's the case.
  • The demands of the trade market will determine what course Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers takes during the Winter Meetings, reports azcentral.com's Nick Piecoro. "Most people are asking for quite a bit right now, I'm not real excited about what I'd have to give up in the trade market," Towers said. "I'm hoping maybe the price starts to come down. If not, then I'll turn to more free agents."
  • Left-hander Erick Threets is looking to play in Asia, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The 32-year-old spent 2013 with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League pitching to a 7.04 ERA, 5.9 K/9, and 7.5 BB/9 in 23 innings covering 27 relief outings. Threets' last MLB affiliation was with the Dodgers' Triple-A team 2012 and his last appearance in a big league game was in 2010 for the White Sox

Minor Moves: Quintero, Gathright, Threets

Here are the day's minor moves…

  • The Marlins have signed Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal according to the CBSSports.com transactions page. The Royals released the 32-year-old backstop earlier this month after he hit .232/.257/.341 in 144 plate appearances.
  • The Reds have released Joey Gathright according to the International League transactions page. The 31-year-old speedster hit .299/.346/.347 in 161 plate appearances for their Triple-A affiliate after signing out of an independent league back in May.
  • The Athletics have released Erick Threets at his request, reports Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com (Twitter links). The hard-throwing 30-year-old southpaw pitched to a 1.84 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 44 innings for Oakland's Triple-A affiliate this season.

Minor Moves: Bianchi, Threets, Gallagher, Atilano

Here are some of the day's minor transactions…

  • The Cubs have acquired minor league infielder Jeff Bianchi on a waiver claim, the team announced.  Bianchi was designated for assignment by the Royals last week to make room for Jonathan Broxton on their 40-man roster.  Bianchi was a second-round pick for K.C. in the 2005 draft and has yet to reach the majors, though he missed close to two full seasons recovering from a torn labrum (2006) and reconstuctive elbow surgery (2010).
  • The Athletics have signed left-hander Erick Threets to a minor league deal, tweets Matthew Eddy of Baseball America.  Threets, 30, last pitched in the Majors in 2010, throwing 12.1 scoreless relief innings for the White Sox.
  • The Reds signed right-handers Luis Atilano and Sean Gallagher to minor league deals, reports Eddy.
  • The Brewers have signed catcher Mike Rivera to a minor league contract, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  The deal includes an invitation to the Brewers' big league spring training camp and is worth $500K if Rivera makes the Major League roster.  Rivera, 35, has spent five of the last six years in the Brewers' organization and will provide the club with extra catching depth.
  • The Rangers signed Alberto Gonzalez to a minor league contract with an invite to the Major League spring training camp, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Gonzalez was released by the Padres last month.  The utility infielder has a career .242/.281/.317 line in 908 Major League plate appearances over five seasons with the Padres, Nationals and Yankees.
  • The Yankees have designated Colin Curtis for assignment, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.  The move creates space on New York's 40-man roster for Freddy Garcia, whose signing was made official today.  Curtis, a fourth-round draft pick in 2006, has 64 Major League plate appearances to his name.


American League Non-Tenders

This post will list all the American League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.


White Sox Non-Tender Bobby Jenks

The White Sox non-tendered reliever Bobby Jenks, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Lefty Erick Threets, who was not arbitration eligible, was also cut loose.

Jenks, 30 in March, will probably be the day's most glamorous addition to the free agent list.  The 6'4", 275 pound righty posted his best strikeout rate since his rookie year, but the Sox unsurprisingly did not deem him worthy of a raise upon this year's $7.5MM salary.  Unless they add a free agent, they can turn to Matt Thornton or Chris Sale in the ninth inning.

Jenks burst on to the scene with the 2005 World Championship club and ended up with 173 saves in his White Sox career.  All those saves would have made his arbitration reward excessive for the Sox, but now Jenks' agents at Legacy Sports can seek a multiyear deal on the open market.

Threets, a hard-throwing 29-year-old, tossed 12 1/3 innings for the Sox this year without allowing an earned run.  He had an excellent ERA at Triple-A as well, though his strikeout rates were low at both stops.  He did have a strong 55.6% groundball rate in his brief Major League stint.


Minor League Transactions

Baseball America's Matt Eddy has the latest minor league transactions.  I believe this is the first I've seen of the White Sox signing relievers Greg Aquino and Erick Threets.  Check out Eddy's post for the full list.


Odds and Ends: Bradley, Floyd, Threets

Let’s round up some links.


Odds and Ends: Viciedo, Broussard, Rincon, Threets

Time to round ‘em up.

  • The A’s are leading the charge for international free agent pitcher Michael Inoa; they could offer him $4MM.  All teams have scouted him.
  • MLB.com’s Jim Molony names the Astros, Yankees, Cardinals, Angels, Mets, and Pirates as teams considering Cuban defector Dayan Viciedo (assuming he becomes a free agent).
  • The Orioles would like to sign Ben Broussard, if he’ll accept a minor league assignment.  Broussard if mulling his options and should sign within 24 hours.  He could step in if the Orioles trade Kevin Millar.
  • Jeff Weaver has been released by the Brewers.  Weaver’s lost it; he has a 6.22 ERA in nine Triple A starts.
  • The Twins have asked Juan Rincon to accept a minor league assignment.  If he refuses, the Twins will be on the hook for his salary and he’ll become a free agent.  Rincon’s last decent year was 2006.
  • No team was willing to keep lefty reliever Erick Threets in the Majors.  He cleared waivers and will head to Triple A as a member of the Giants organization.
  • Andy Pettitte wouldn’t commit, but admitted it’d be a "joy and an honor" to pitch at the new Yankee Stadium next year.
  • Tigers backup catcher Vance Wilson may retire after a setback in his elbow recovery.


Erick Threets Designated

MONDAY: Threets has been designated for assignment; he probably wouldn’t pass through waivers.

FRIDAY: According to Chris Haft of MLB.com, it seems that the Giants do not have room for 26 year-old southpaw reliever Erick Threets.  The surprising emergence of Alex Hinshaw has caused the roster crunch.  Threets is out of options, and his minor league rehab assignment ends today.

In this year’s Baseball America Prospect Handbook, Threets was ranked 20th among Giants prospects.  Even with a lengthy injury history, Threets throws in the mid-90s with a solid changeup.  He’s more about potential than numbers, given his high walk rates and subpar strikeout rates.


Several Giants Relievers Available

Earlier this morning we saw a report that indicated that Erick Threets may be available for the right price. Now, according to Andrew Baggarly, the Giants have made most of their middle relievers available as well as a couple of pitchers in Triple A.

The Giants have informed other clubs that relievers Tyler Walker, Jack Taschner and Vinnie Chulk are available in fair-value deals. The club also is soliciting offers for Erick Threets and Brad Hennessey, who is starting for Triple-A Fresno.

Walker, Chulk and Hennessey are all arbitration-eligible at the end of the season. Chulk is having the best season of the group with a 132 ERA+, though Walker has experience as a closer. Hennessey is 3-1 with a 3.48 ERA in four starts for Triple A Fresno after being demoted and converted to a starter.

Brian Sabean seems to be going against comments he made only two weeks ago when he suggested that the Giants would not trade away their veteran players during the season.

Baggarly indicates that this shift is due to the emergence of young pitchers as well as the earlier-than-expected demand for relief pitchers from contending teams.

Cork Gaines writes for Rays Index and can be reached here.